Transneft Western Siberia is one of the largest Russian companies in the industry of crude oil and petroleum products transportation. The Company annually transports over 70 million tonnes of “black gold” via trunk pipelines running across five Siberian regions. Occupational health, caring for workers’ life and safety, are highly prioritised by the Company in all of its operations.
We discussed the effective algorithm of the integrated occupational safety system implemented at Transneft Western Siberia’s operational facilities with the Company’s General Director Oleg Chepurnoy.
- A short time ago the President of Russia declared developing human capital to be one of the key principles for effective national development and building up the country’s competitive strength. Each person should feel safeguarded in terms of both social safety net and occupational health. How is this principle implemented at Transneft Western Siberia?
- It’s hard to deny this proposition. Any responsible manager is aware that even the slightest neglect of safety rules may cause bad occupational injuries. The result is the loss of working time, harm to health or even endangered lives. That is why prevention rather than response to woeful consequences of such neglect is the key principle of Transneft Western Siberia when it comes to occupational health.
- Please tell us a bit more about this.
- The main goal of occupational health measures is ensuring there are zero incidents and occupational diseases. Saving lives and health of employees is the number one priority for us. This goes in line with the corporate Occupational Health, Energy Efficiency, Industrial and Fire Safety Policy. There are no other objectives for us in the sphere of occupational health.
- What specific steps are taken to improve working conditions?
- At Transneft Western Siberia, all effort in occupational health is always in line with Russian and international laws. As per Federal Law No. 426, our Company has been carrying out dedicated working conditions assessments (DWCA) since 2014. The main purpose of DWCA is identification of potentially dangerous or hazardous industrial and workplace factors as well as assessment of their impact upon the employee. During the four years, 3,985 workplaces have been assessed. At 96% of these, no dangerous or hazardous industrial factors were detected, with all parameters complying with the set standards. For comparison, in 2015 there were about 1,800 “harmful” workplaces. By now, their number has been reduced by a factor of 10. This is the evidence of steady improvement of working conditions at our Company. With this purpose we annually upgrade workplaces as well as operational, administrative and amenity premises.
In terms of sheer statistics, last year alone, more than RUB 290 million were allocated for improvement of working conditions.
Furthermore, the Company makes much of providing its employees with special attire, footwear and personal protective equipment. The special clothing and shoes are made with regard for sectoral requirements and, what is quite important, employees’ suggestions.
The Company covers the cost of mandatory vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis, influenza and other virus-induced diseases. In 2018, we spent RUB 12.5 million on preventive examinations alone.
- These figures are impressive. Nevertheless, this outlay will be futile unless employees take care of their own health and life...
- You bet. No matter how many funds are allocated, unless a person realises the importance of occupational health requirements and follows them at all times, our comprehensive approaches will be of no use. It is for this reason that we encourage and develop personal and collective responsibility, awarding bonuses to proponents of complying with labour safety rules. During many years we’ve been holding a contest for the title of the Best Occupational Safety Business Unit as well as the Occupational Safety Day. We have developed programmes for training and briefings as well as knowledge tests and a method for raising individual awareness of our employees. For the same purpose we create special corporate videos highlighting safety rules. Visual content has proved to be the most effective form for promoting workplace safety. Organising specialised training sessions for our staff to raise their occupational safety culture is another positive practice.
- Today, a great emphasis is placed on automation of personnel training. What does Transneft Western Siberia do to promote this trend?
- In compliance with regulatory requirements, all employees pass mandatory occupational health training within a recommended timeframe. The Company uses integrated educational software to hold interactive briefings and knowledge tests and has developed 150 courses and curricula. Last year alone, nearly 3,000 employees received such training. What’s more, in 2018, we successfully implemented Transneft’s system of interactive briefings for line pipeliners, which is one of the main professions in our industry. The interactive model that uses 3D technologies allows to maximally visualise the working process and drill possible situations.
- You earlier mentioned zero rate of occupational diseases as the main objective of the occupational health policy. How do you attain this target?
- Improving our employees’ health is vital to reaching this objective. Each of our employees can benefit from treatment at recreation and health resorts with minimum personal investment and from passing extra medical examination based on the results of tests done at the employer’s expense. The Company also rents gyms and swimming pools for employees. Last year alone, we allocated RUB 44 million for this.
In this way we invest in our human capital. Our employees do not only seek a high level of remuneration and comfortable and safe working conditions; they also mind their health and want to prevent occupational diseases. For instance, our experience of introducing gymnastics breaks during work has been positively assessed by the Occupational Health, Industrial, Fire and Environmental Safety Department of Transneft. As of today, Transneft Western Siberia’s practices has also been introduced in other Transneft subsidiaries.